Trewin

Albert Phillips Trewin (1871-1948) with wife and children, circa 1906

I just spotted this circa-1906 image in an old album that belonged to my grandmother Zillah Trewin. I believe it’s the only photo we have of her step-brother Albert Phillips Trewin and his first wife Georgie Duke, who died of influenza in 1917. I only recognized them because a while back a descendant of Bert’s generously sent me some digital images of that side of the family.

In this photo, Bert and Georgie are pictured with their two sons: Elmer Archer Trewin (b. 1902) and Albert Gray Trewin (b. 1905). Daughter Edith May was born in 1910.

My mother, now 93, remembers meeting Bert and his second wife Jessie Mallette Smith several times. She remembers when Bert & Jessie were visiting Elizabeth, NJ, from their home in Pittsburgh in 1934, and how she and her parents climbed in Bert & Jessie’s car to drive down to Asbury Park to see the Morro Castle shipwreck. Mom would have been 11 at the time. She recalls how old Bert looked, but when you’re 11, everyone looks old!

Anyway, I am glad I came across this image. The album is otherwise largely filled with people who are not labeled, so I have no idea who most of them are,and neither does my mother! 😦

Trewin_Bert_and_family_cir_1906

Albert Trewin with wife Georgie Duke and sons Albert and Elmer

Categories: Trewin | Tags: | 9 Comments

1898: Zillah Trewin graduation photo

Here’s a photo of my grandmother Zillah Trewin dated June 24, 1898. It was taken on the occasion of her graduation from grammar school in Elizabeth, NJ. She had just turned 15 earlier that month. She looks so much like her father William Trewin here. Zillah went on to graduate high school and attend business school. Eventually she landed the job of secretary to the director of the YMCA in Manhattan, across the river from her Elizabeth, NJ, home. It’s interesting to see her at this stage in life. Most images I have of her were taken quite a bit before and after this one. I “Photoshop-ped” it to give it more contrast. I love examining the details in dress, the diploma in hand, her expression, the furnishings, etc. It’s a wonderful snapshot in time.
Trewin_Z_grad_1898 Trewin_Z_grad_1898_ps

Categories: Elizabeth, Union Co., Trewin | Tags: , | 4 Comments

The grave situation

Well, time marches on and I don’t always remember to do updates on previous posts and my ‘brick walls,’ so I will take the time to do this today, at least with regards to ‘grave’ news—no not bad news, just cemetery news!

Sargent / Wills: I have located the final resting places of William Sargent and his first wife (my second great-grandmother Mary Wills Sargent) and his second wife (Mary Bowley Pitt). Their surname was Slaymaker until they changed it to Sargent when moving to the US after the Civil War. I was correct to think that they were in or around Hudson County, New Jersey—they are in what is known today as Bayview-New York Bay Cemetery. I have requested photos on Find a Grave, but that can take time. (For a past post on the family: click here)

Trewin: Also located (no thanks to me) was the grave location for William Clarence Trewin (my grandmother’s step-brother): Locustwood Memorial Park, Cherry Hill, Camden County, New Jersey. According to the descendants who discovered it, the grave is unmarked. (For a past post mentioning William Clarence, click here.)

De La Flechelle: I was delighted that a volunteer found the time to photograph the De La Flechelle graves in the churchyard of the First Presbyterian Church in Woodbridge, NJ. I spent a lot of time researching this family (past post is here), so it’s nice to see them all together and permanently memorialized on Find a Grave.

Still looking for:

  • John Romeyn Brodhead and wife – final resting place – this is the son of Andrew Jackson Brodhead and Ophelia Easton (not the historian John Romeyn Brodhead) – graves are possibly in Buffalo, NY area.
  • Final resting place of Juebb (Jacob) Lewis — husband of Margaret Wait Lewis; father of Sarah Augusta Lewis who married Moses Martin.
Categories: Cemeteries, de la Flechelle, Sargent, Trewin, Wills | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Some descendants of the Nixon family of Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

Louise and Jennie Nixon, 1964

Photo from my family’s private collection: Sisters Louise (75) and Jennie Nixon (80) in 1964

These lovely elderly ladies are Louise E. Nixon and Jane ‘Jennie’ Bracken Nixon, nieces of my great-grandmother Sarah (Nixon) Boles of Co. Leitrim, Ireland, whose parents—William Nixon and Rachel Miller—and numerous siblings moved to the United States in the late 1860s. The ladies were my grandfather William Boles‘s cousins.

A previous post on Sarah Nixon Boles mentioned the fact that most, if not all, of her family relocated to New York after the US Civil War. This Nixon family is presumably part of the Nixon family of Fermanagh*—about which much has been written (e.g., The Families of French of Belturbet and Nixon of Fermanagh, and Their Descendants by Henry B. Swanzy, published in 1908).  However, I have yet to figure out the family’s location in the larger Nixon family tree.

William and Rachel Nixon were about 67 and 51, respectively when they arrived in America in 1869 (the year given me by the descendant of Benjamin, one of their sons). Joining them were supposedly all of their children (I’ve found 11, although my mother’s records list 14) except for my great-grandmother Sarah: Mark Nixon (b. cir. 1839/1845), Edward Nixon (b. cir 1845); Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Nixon (b. cir. 1849); Jane Nixon (b. 1851); Thomas Nixon (b. cir. 1852); Sarah Nixon (b. 1855); Rachel Nixon (b. cir 1865); Mary Nixon (b. cir 1858); Benjamin Nixon (b. cir 1862); Robert Nixon (b. 1863); Catherine Nixon (b. 1864); the last three (whom I have yet to find a trace of) were James, John, and William.

Passenger List - The Caledonia - sailed from Moville, Ireland to NY, NY on 14 Sep 1868 (Source Citation: Year: 1868; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm Roll: 301; Line: 22; List Number: 989.)

Passenger List – The Caledonia – sailed from Moville, Ireland to NY, NY on 14 September 1868 (Source Citation: Year: 1868; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm Roll: 301; Line: 22; List Number: 989.)

The passenger list inset for the ship Caledonia , which set sail from Moville on Lough Foyle at the northern tip of Northern Ireland to New York on 14 September 1868, shows the names of some Nixons–the names seem to fairly well coincide with some of the Nixon children’s names & ages. If these indeed are ‘our Nixons’, it would indicate that the older children may have come ahead of the parents and younger children.

While researching the family, I found William, Rachel and a number of the children in the 1870 US Federal Census, living in NYC Ward 18. William is listed as a ‘farmer’, an answer based certainly on his past occupation in Ireland. The children in the household were: Edward (30), Thomas (20), Eliza (22), Jane (18), Rachel (15), Mary (10), and ‘Bennett’ (10, this was probably ‘Benjamin’).

1870 Census Record ("United States Census, 1870," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M8X8-K4T : accessed 25 February 2015), Rachael Nixon, New York, United States; citing p. 34, family , NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,539.)

1870 Census Record (“United States Census, 1870,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M8X8-K4T : accessed 25 February 2015), Rachael Nixon, New York, United States; citing p. 34, family , NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,539.)

William Nixon died before the 1880 US Federal Census, as Rachel Nixon is listed in that census record as a widow ‘keeping house’ and living at 203 16th Street, NY, NY. and living with children Edward, Lizzie, Thomas, Rachel, Benjamin, Robert, Mary, and Kate, and several lodgers. The census record indicates that family members were involved in the dry goods business. Son Thomas (28 and now widowed) is listed as being a ‘dry goods buyer’ as is son Edward, age 35 and single. Benjamin (20) is listed as a ‘dry goods clerk’ as is Robert (18). (The 1900 Census indicates that Robert emigrated in 1879.)

Looking at old newspapers, I found the following mortuary notice in the New York Herald, dated 11 Aug 1871: At his [Gramercy] residence, 346 East 17th Street, on Thursday, August 10, William Nixon, aged 69 years. Funeral will take place on Saturday, August 12, at one o’clock PM from Seventeenth Street Methodist Episcopal Church, between First and Second avenues. Relatives and friends are invited to attend.

Wikimedia Commons: Manhattan neighborhoods (map); Author= Stilfehler; Oct. 15th, 2007

Wikimedia Commons: Manhattan neighborhoods (map); Author= Stilfehler; Oct. 15th, 2007

Almost two decades later, I found a notice for a Rachel Nixon (New York Herald, 12 May 1890): On Saturday, May 10, 1890, Rachel Nixon, age 72 years. The relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the funeral services at her late [East Village] residence, No. 224 East 12th Street, on Monday evening, May 12, 1890 at eight o’clock. Interment in Green-wood.

A William Nixon (bur. August 1871, Find a Grave memorial #127997780) and a Rachel Nixon (bur. 5-13-1890; Find a Grave memorial #106845856) are buried in Green-wood Cemetery Lot 17245 Section 17, Grave 114. The grave is unmarked according to the Find a Grave photographer who kindly attempted to find the graves for me. I’m not yet certain that I have the correct Rachel and William, but hope to pin all this down at some point. Meanwhile I toss this info out there to my readers and future readers who may already have turned over these stones and arrived at some conclusions.

Son Edward Nixon and wife Anna (Bracken) Nixon, who emigrated from No. Ireland in 1883, had four children: Jane ‘Jennie’ (b. 1884), William (b. 1885), George (b. 1887), and Louise (b. 1889). The first two children were born in Manhattan. The second two were born in Bridgeport, CT. Edward died sometime between 1889 and 1900, as Anna is a widow as of the 1900 census. There is an Edward Nixon in the same plot at Green-wood Cemetery (Burial 1899-03-29, Lot 17245 Section 17, Grave 114; (Find a Grave #106846467), perhaps giving a bit more weight to the possibility that the Green-wood plot is indeed where our Nixon ancestors were laid to rest.

By the 1900 Census, Anna (Bracken) Nixon and her children (ages 16, 15, 13, 11), sister Mary J. Bracken, and a lodger are living at 160 Virginia Avenue in Jersey City Ward No. 8, Hudson Co., NJ, and it was there that the family remained for many years. Neither Jennie nor Louise ever married. Jennie devoted her life to working as a teacher in the Jersey City public school system, and Louise worked for many years as a stenographer and then executive secretary for the president or vice president of a company in NYC. Eventually the sisters joined forces with their brother William and his wife Marion to buy a large house at 680 Orchard Street in Oradell, NJ, where they spent happy years before moving into the Francis Asbury Manor Methodist rest home in Ocean Grove, NJ. Jane died in May of 1972, and Louise in October 1979.

Jennie Boles with Louise and Jennie Nixon, spring 1964

Photo form my family’s private collection: Jennie Boles (75) of Ireland with her American cousins Louise (75) and Jennie Nixon (80), early spring 1964, New Jersey

Serendipitously it was during their years in Jersey City that Jennie and Louise befriended my grandmother Zillah Trewin who lived there with her parents William Trewin and Elizabeth (Sargent) Trewin. According to my mother, Zillah was great friends with the Nixon sisters, as well as their cousins (the children of Jane Nixon and Wm Elliott Roberts), and it was through that friendship that she ultimately met and married their cousin (my grandfather) William Boles who emigrated to the US in 1912 at the encouragement of his uncle Robert Nixon who sponsored him.

I remember Jennie and Louise well. They were very fun ladies—full of good humor and always had a twinkle in their eyes. I always enjoyed the times spent with them, and best remember our visits to their Ocean Grove apartment. As I recall, we would drive down to see them on Saturdays since the roads in Ocean Grove are closed to all traffic on Sundays. We always took them out to lunch, and I remember taking them down to some restaurant near the ocean in Spring Lake, a short drive to the south. They were two sweethearts and it was very sad to lose them. I would love to have them here now to have some family history chats with them. When I was a teenager that topic was far from my mind.

I’ll close this post with a couple of Louise’s recipes (‘Chocolate Flake Candy’ and ‘Date Balls’) I recently came upon while re-binding my mom’s old recipe notebook. I haven’t tried either of them yet as I am trying to shift a bit of weight. Such temptations would surely sabotage my results! But they will stay on my radar!

If you’ve made it this far in the post, I wish you a great day. If you have anything to add, share, correct, etc., please don’t hesitate to get in touch or leave a comment!

Nixon_Louise_recipe

Recipes typed up by Louise Nixon for my mother

Jennie and Louise’s Nixon Tree Branch
1-William Nixon b. Cir 1802, Ireland, d. Bef 2 Jun 1880; possibly 10 Aug
1871 +Rachael Millar b. Cir 1818, Ireland, d. Possibly 10 May 1890, Manhattan, New
York, New York
|—–2-Edward Nixon b. Cir 1845, Ireland, d. Betw 1889 and 1900
| +Anna Bracken b. Aug 1847, Northern Ireland, d. After 1930
| |—–3-Jane Bracken Nixon b. 15 Apr 1884, Manhattan, New York, New York,
| | d. May 1972, Ocean Grove, Monmouth, NJ
| |—–3-William Thomas Nixon b. 24 Aug 1885, Manhattan, New York, New
| | York, d. Sep 1967, Suffolk, New York
| | +Marion Zoller
| |—–3-George Robert Bracken Nixon b. 12 Feb 1887, Bridgeport,
| | Connecticut
| | +May L. Swenarton b. Cir 1889, New Jersey
| | |—–4-George W. Nixon b. Cir 1914, New Jersey
| | |—–4-Frank L. Nixon b. Cir 1919
| |—–3-Louise E. Nixon b. 22 Jul 1889, Bridgeport, Connecticut, d. Oct
| | 1979, Ocean Grove, Monmouth, NJ

Categories: Boles, Drumkeeran, Co. Leitrim, Food: Family Recipes & Favorites, Green-Wood Cemetery Brooklyn NY, Ireland, Jersey City, Hudson Co., Manhattan, Methodist Episcopal, New York, Nixon, Trewin, US Federal 1880 | 2 Comments

100-year-old Christmas greetings

Merry Christmas, all! I stumbled on a few more Christmas cards—these from 1914… exactly 100 years ago! These were sent to my grandmother who was 31 at the time and still single. One from her dear friend Ruth Cheney. The others from senders unknown (to me). The themes? Charles Dickens’ first novel—The Pickwick Papers (published in 1836)—and his novella Cricket on the Hearth (published in 1845). Even in 1914, they were timeless classics. One bonus of finding these cards? My grandmother’s address in 1914: 135 Murray St., Elizabeth, NJ!

Well, back to those Christmas cookies! Have a magical day!

1914_card

1914_card3

1914_card2

Zillah Trewin, 1919 (age 36)

Zillah Trewin, 1919 (age 36)

1914_card5

1914_card4

Categories: Christmas, Elizabeth, Union Co., Holidays & Festivities, New Jersey, Trewin, Vintage cards | 5 Comments

Thanksgiving—a century ago: Teddy Roosevelt, turkey, football, ragamuffin parades, and ‘Black Friday’

Thanksgiving postcard circa 1900 (Credit: Wikipedia)

Thanksgiving postcard circa 1900 (Credit: Wikipedia)

Life magazine cover, 1904

Life magazine cover, 1904

Thanksgiving is just a week away, and I enjoy thinking about how our ancestors may have gone about their own Thanksgiving Day preparations and celebrations.

I came across some ads and articles from 1904. What would have been going on back then? Grandma (not yet married) and her five sisters were likely cooking up a storm in the Woodruff family home in Hillside, NJ. The Andrew Jackson Brodhead family was marking its first Thanksgiving without family matriarch Ophelia. Did they spend the day at son James Easton Brodhead’s gloriously big home in Flemington, NJ? Did my great-grandfather Andrew Douglas Brodhead (James’ brother) and family of Perth Amboy, NJ, join them? And, on my mom’s side, the Trewin family was celebrating in Elizabeth, NJ. Did they get together with other family in nearby Bayonne or Jersey City, or have a quiet day at home? Did ‘Thanksgiving maskers’ come by to beg for pennies? (A tradition described very well in this Huffington Post article “A Forgotten Thanksgiving Custom: Masks, Mischief and Cross-dressing” – pub. 11/20/2012.)

Finding a Thanksgiving Turkey (Credit: Library of Congress*)

Finding a Thanksgiving Turkey (Credit: Library of Congress*)

Perry NY Record, 24 Nov 1904 advertisement

Perry NY Record, 24 Nov 1904 advertisement

In the early 20th century, the household radio had yet to exist, not to mention all the other devices available to us today—devices that, dare I say it, often distract us from interacting with the very family members in our midst? I imagine that back then, our ancestors enjoyed listening to the phonograph, dancing, playing games, and exchanging news and views on all sorts of topics. There’d certainly have been no TV football games to watch or fall in sleep in front of! But apparently high school Thanksgiving football games had become popular by then; so perhaps, our ancestors enjoyed watching a game or two in the crisp November air…or ventured into the Big Apple to watch a ‘ragamuffin parade‘—popular back then (see the below article “Turkey Feasts for Everyone”) and still a feature of many autumn festivals today.

Thanksgiving Maskers scrambling for pennies (Courtesy of Library of Congress)

Thanksgiving Maskers scrambling for pennies (Courtesy of Library of Congress)

Thanksgiving Maskers (Courtesy of Library of Congress)

Thanksgiving Maskers (Courtesy of Library of Congress)

It would seem safe to say that many of my ancestors would likely have read the text of the inspiring and patriotic Thanksgiving Day Proclamation (below) by President Theodore Roosevelt (Rep-NY) who had won reelection by a landslide that year. The ladies in the respective families may have poured over Jule De Ryther’s cooking tips. De Ryther, celebrated soprano turned food maven, provided instructions in the newspaper for the ‘little woman’ on how to make a ‘Yankee Thanksgiving Dinner’ (see below). And, yes, it seems likely that our ancestors had some shopping on their mind. I found one full-page ‘Black Friday’ ad (shown below) with a headline screaming “Give Thanks Today For These Bargains Tomorrow.” It would seem that not much has changed after all these years, except for the items on sale and, of course, the prices!

Anyway, back to 2014. Best wishes to all of you for a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m still debating a couple of turkey recipes (Tyler Florence’s ‘Buried Turkey with Gravy‘ or Sandra Lee’s ‘Roasted Butter Herb Turkey‘). Both are excellent recipes. Tried Sandra’s last year and Tyler’s the year before. His is very handy if you want to get the bird cooked fast. It’s quick and easy and the meat comes out wonderfully moist and flavorful. Stuffing must be cooked separately however, and (for me) it’s a bit of a struggle to split the bird in half. Sandra goes the traditional stuffed-bird route, and rubs a garlic-herb-butter mix under the skin. The result is pretty delicious.

Feel free to share any favorite recipes in the comment box below. And, enjoy your Thanksgiving 2014!

P.S. What an ideal time to talk about family history and family traditions!

Lithograph by Forbes Litho. Mfg. Co., Boston [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

President Theodore Roosevelt (Republican from NY) – Lithograph by Forbes Litho. Mfg. Co., Boston [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

*************************************************************

PROCLAMATION By PRESIDENT THEODORE ROOSEVELT:

It has pleased Almighty God to bring the American people in safety and honor through another year, and, in accordance with the long unbroken custom handed down to us by our forefathers, the time has come when a special day shall be set apart in which to thank Him who holds all nations in the hollow of His hand, for the mercies thus vouchsafed to us. During the century and a quarter of our national life we as a people have been blessed beyond all others, and for this we owe humble and heartfelt thanks to the Author of all blessings.

The year that has closed has been one of peace within our borders as well as between us and all other nations. The harvests have been abundant, and those who work, whether with hand or brain, are prospering greatly. Reward has waited upon honest effort. We have been enabled to do our duty to ourselves and to others. Never has there been a time when religious and charitable effort has been more evident. Much has been given to us and much will be expected from us. We speak of what has been done by this Nation in no spirit of boastfulness or vainglory, but with full and reverent realization that our strength is as nothing unless we are helped from above. Hitherto we have been given the heart and the strength to do the tasks allotted to us as they severally arose. We are thankful for all that has been done for us in the past, and we pray that in the future we may be strengthened in the unending struggle to do our duty fearlessly and honestly, with charity and good will, with respect for ourselves and love towards our fellow men.

Thanksgiving postcard circa 1910. Published by Wolf-Clapsaddle. Credit: Wikimedia

Thanksgiving postcard circa 1910. Published by Wolf-Clapsaddle. Credit: Wikimedia

In this great Republic the effort to combine national strength with personal freedom is being tried on a scale more gigantic than ever before in the world’s history. Our success will mean much, not only for ourselves, but for the future of all mankind, and every man or woman in our land should feel the grave responsibility resting upon him or her, for in the last analysis this success must depend upon the high average of our individual citizenship, upon the way in which each of us does his duty by himself and his neighbor.

Now, therefore, I, Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart Thursday, the twenty-fourth of this November, to be observed as a day of festival and thanksgiving by all the people of the United States, at home or abroad, and do recommend that on that day they cease from their ordinary occupations and gather in their several places of worship or in their homes, devoutly to give thanks to Almighty God for the benefits He has conferred, upon us as individuals and as a Nation, and to beseech Him that in the future His divine favor may be continued to us.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this first day of November, in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and four, and of the independence of the United States, the one hundred and twenty-ninth.

*************************************************************************************

Food writer Jule De Ryther turns up the heat in the 1904 Thanksgiving kitchen:

New York Press, 20 Nov. 1904 (Courtesy of www.fultonhistory.com)

New York Press, 20 Nov. 1904 (Courtesy of www.fultonhistory.com)

New York Press, 20 Nov. 1904 (Courtesy of http://www.fultonhistory.com)

*************************************************************************************

A little Black Friday shopping anyone? Men’s sweaters – 98 cents; Kashmir rugs – $8.75; women’s coats – $6.95 [CLICK TWICE to ENLARGE]:

Black Friday advertisement, Friday's Buffalo NY Courier, 24 Nov. 1904

Black Friday advertisement, Friday’s Buffalo NY Courier, 24 Nov. 1904

Thanksgiving

New York Sun, Friday, 25 Nov 1904 (Courtesy: http://www.fultonhistory.com)

Taking Home Turkey From Raffle (Credit: Library of Congress*)

Taking Home Turkey From Raffle (Credit: Library of Congress*)

Thanksgiving_NY_Sun_25Nov1904_parades Thanksgiving_NY_Sun_25Nov1904_parades2 Thanksgiving_NY_Sun_25Nov1904_parades3

Thanksgiving_NY_Sun_25Nov1904_parades4

New York Sun, Friday, 25 Nov 1904 (courtesy of http://www.fultonhistory.com)

 PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES: New York City, Thanksgiving holiday scenes, 1911. Courtesy of Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA; VISIT:  http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2005675293/

Categories: 1900s, Brodhead, Holidays & Festivities, New Jersey, Roosevelt President Teddy, Thanksgiving, Trewin, Woodruff | 6 Comments

Another image of some ‘unknowns’

I’ve stared at this 1917 photo a number of times, trying to figure out who the two ladies on the left were. They are obviously good friends of my great grandmother Elizabeth Sargent* Trewin and her daughter Zillah of Jersey City, NJ, pictured on the right. Elizabeth’s husband William Trewin passed away the previous December, so mother and daughter were on their own at this point. Zillah was still single.

That hat is quite something. Its owner looks like a stern gal. I’ve wondered whether the lady second from left could be my great grandmother’s younger sister Sarah Sargent* Hemion, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part. Apart from the gray hair, their facial features are quite different. Anyone out there with some thoughts, please get in touch!

*Note: The sisters were born in England with the surname Slaymaker. That name was changed to Sargent before they emigrated to the US after the Civil War.

Unknown ladies on the left, Elizabeth Sargent Trewin & daughter Zillah

Unknown ladies on the left, Elizabeth Sargent Trewin & daughter Zillah

Categories: Jersey City, Hudson Co., New Jersey, Sargent, Slaymaker, Trewin | 9 Comments

In memory of WWII US Army Captain Henry “Hank” D. Wirsig

George Keller, Henry Wirsig, and Charles Brodhead

George Keller, Henry Wirsig, and Charles Brodhead

(Update 7/24/19: I recently learned that Henry had been a boarder at my grandparents’ house during the Great Depression.)

This photo on the right supposedly stood on my grandmother’s dresser many years ago, and I’d seen it off and on through the years, when leafing through a family album, always wondering who the gentleman in the middle was. Well, a week ago, I was going through an old bundle of letters, containing correspondence between my grandmother and grandfather, Fannie and Frank Brodhead, and a US Army Captain named Henry Wirsig. As I leafed through the letters, out fell a smaller version of this photo, and I immediately understood that this fellow in the middle was Henry.

The letters and postcards from Henry were sweet and thoughtful, almost always ending in “Love, Henry” or “Love to All, Henry”, and the one letter I found from my grandparents to him was signed “Love, Ma and Pa Brodhead”.

I later learned that Henry was born in 1914, so he was two years younger than my Dad’s brother Woody and seven years younger than my Dad (Charles). My Dad enlisted in spring 1942, and I believe this photo must have been taken around July 1942 as that was his last time home until November 1944.

Henry’s letters always inquired about Woody, my Dad, and ‘grandma’ (a reference to my grandfather’s mother Margaret Lewis Martin Brodhead, by then in her eighties), so Henry must have been a very close family friend. Where did they meet? Well, through subsequent research, I think it may have been through the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth (NJ), as Henry and my Dad’s family were all members there.

'Ma and Pa Brodhead'

‘Ma and Pa Brodhead’

As I read along, the letters all saved in chronological order, I was shocked to come upon a March 1945 letter from Henry’s mother to my grandmother, revealing gut-wrenching news—confirmation that Henry had been killed in action on December 17, 1944, at the onset of the Battle of the Bulge, a major German offensive campaign that began on 16 December 1944 and lasted until 25 January 1945, and resulted in a staggering 89,500 American casualties. Suddenly this photo took on extremely deep and personal meaning. I can’t begin to imagine how this crushing news must have devastated everyone who knew and loved Henry.

The website Battle of the Bulge Memories contains the recollections of a veteran who participated in that day’s events, and he describes the events leading up to Henry’s death. To read this riveting account, which is tough to read at times, click here.

Elizabeth Daily Journal, Saturday Evening, March 17, 1945

Elizabeth Daily Journal, Saturday Evening, March 17, 1945

The Elizabeth Daily Journal published an obituary notice on March 17, 1945; it provided me with more details on Henry’s background. To paraphrase the obituary notice:

Captain Henry D. Wirsig, of Union, NJ (formerly of Elizabeth, NJ) died in Bastogne, Luxembourg, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge. He was a member of the Ninth Armored Division. Prior to his death, he had been serving as acting mayor of Luxembourg. He was 31 years old.

Capt. Wirsig was born and raised in Syracuse, NY, and graduated from the University of Syracuse. He enlisted in 1942, leaving behind a chemical engineering position with Standard Oil Development Company. He had joined the company as a student intern in 1936.

He was a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps and began active duty as a lieutenant. At Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, in October 1942, he was promoted to Captain. He also trained in the California desert, Camp Cook (CA), Fort Knox (KY) and Camp Polk (LA). [My grandparents received a number of postcards from these places.]

Captain Wirsig was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Elizabeth, NJ. He married Mabel Dorothy Painter of Elizabeth, NJ, on April 5, 1940, and had two children, Kenneth and Jean. He was the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl F. Wirsig, and brother of Stanley S. Wirsig and Paul O. Wirsig.

**********************************************

I was very pleased to discover that Henry’s resting place has been memorialized on the Find a Grave site. He was buried at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial in Liège, Belgium. I submitted a ‘photo’ and ‘biography’ to Find a Grave, and am happy to see that they have since been included in his memorial page (to view, click here).

Below is Henry’s last postcard to my grandparents.  My grandmother’s last letter to him, affectionately signed ‘Love, Ma and Pa Brodhead’ was written on January 9, 1945. She had no idea he was already gone.

It’s heart-breaking to think of all that Henry and his family lost on that tragic December day nearly 70 years ago.

Henry made the ultimate sacrifice in the liberation of Europe from Nazi tyranny. I thank him and his family for bearing this awful burden so that others could live in freedom.

Henry's last mailing, a postcard, to my grandparents; such a beautiful and peaceful scene.

Henry’s last mailing, a postcard, to my grandparents; Franciscan Convent in Marienthal, Luxembourg—such a beautiful and peaceful scene.

Written 16 days before Henry's death

Written 16 days before Henry’s death

Links:
American Battle Monuments Commission

PBS American Experience – Interviews with Bulge Veterans

Fields of Honor database

“Infantry & Tanks near Bastogne”. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – Battle of the Bulge – Members of the 44th Armored Infantry, supported by tanks of the 6th Armored Division, move in to attack German troops surrounding Bastogne, Belgium (31 Dec 1944)

Categories: Battle of the Bulge, Brodhead, Elizabeth, Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial, New Jersey, Wirsig, WWII | 9 Comments

Striking gold: Gleanings from the Samuel Barron Jaques family Bible

p. 253 The Book of Family Crests, London: Henry Washbourne & Co., 1951

p. 253 The Book of Family Crests, London: Henry Washbourne & Co., 1851

A year plus ago, I did a post on Samuel Barron Jaques (1730-1798/9), a fourth great-grandfather, who lived on the Jaques (pronounced “Jay-quiss”) family farm in Locust Grove, which was just north of Woodbridge, New Jersey, as I recall. There were numerous subsequent posts about his son Isaac (1791-1880), my third great-grandfather, a Manhattan tailor who removed to Elizabeth, NJ) and the children of Isaac I’d managed to discover: Jane, John, Isaac, Walter, Christopher, and Charles. All of them came as a surprise to me since we’d always believed my second great-grandmother Wealthy Jaques Angus (b. 1815) was the only child of Isaac and wife Wealthy Ann Cushman of Hartford, CT, a circumstance seemingly corroborated by the voluminous Jaques Family Genealogy (ed. by Roger Jaques and Patricia Jaques for the Jaques Family Association, published 1995): on page 457 the book describes Wealthy Ann Jaques as being the …only child of Isaac and Wealthy A. (Cushman) Jaques….

Well, as Sod’s law would have it, I’ve just now come across a thin, browned Newark News clipping from 13 March 1915 (according to the handwriting en verso) that was stuffed in an old envelope with a bunch of other papers. I sure wish I’d come upon this clipping a long time ago, but better late than never, as the saying goes. But, those of us researching our family trees would probably all agree that we’ll take gold whenever we can get it, and gold for me was learning names and dates contained in the Samuel Barron Jaques family Bible. It doesn’t get much better than this.

The clipping, which must have been taken from a newspaper column that focused on family history, gives the names and birth dates of all of Samuel Barron and Mary (Coddington) Jaques’s children, as well as all the names and birth dates for Isaac and Wealthy (Cushman) Jaques’s children.

I discovered that—after all my research—I’d still missed two of their children: Eleazer Jaques (b. 1820) and Samuel Barron Jaques (b. 1824). But, nonetheless, the fact that I had managed to nail the others into place prior to this with varying degrees of biographical detail brought some satisfaction. Significantly, the Family Bible provides middle names, and those can be very valuable when researching an individual. Of course, they can also lead to new questions such as why this or that name? For example, I learned that dentist son Walter’s full name was Walter Madison Smith Jaques, and Christopher P. Jaques was Christopher Prince Jaques. The Prince middle name was familiar to me. Walter and Christopher’s sister Wealthy Jaques Angus (my ssecond great-grandmother) had named her youngest son Walter Prince Angus (b. 1861). I believe Christopher (b. 1831) and Walter (b. 1826) died while still in their 20’s/30’s, though I have yet to find exact death dates for them. But Wealthy’s decision to name her youngest Walter Prince may have been to honor her late brothers. In addition, a long while ago, I discovered that one of the siblings’ brothers, John Barron Jaques (b. 1822), named his youngest child (b. 1853) Walter M. S. Jaques, and now I think I can guess what those middle initials stand for!

The clipping starts off mentioning the initials of F. W. G. and J. A. K. I have no idea who F. W. G. was, but feel quite certain that the latter was James Angus Knowles, son of Mary Martha Angus Knowles (b. 1846, a daughter of the aforementioned Wealthy Jaques Angus and James Angus) and Austin Fellows Knowles. James Angus Knowles was a great-grandson of Isaac Jaques, and evidence I’ve seen (in the form of genealogical details written on his letterhead) suggests he had a strong interest in the Angus/Jaques family history. I assume that the Samuel Barron Jaques family Bible may have been passed down along his Knowles family line, or perhaps it is now with the descendants of one of James’s siblings.

Dr. Moses Jaques bio from p. 126, History of Union and Middlesex Counties, New Jersey with Biographical Sketches of many of their Prominent Men (Philadelphia: Everts & Peck, 1882)

Dr. Moses Jaques bio from p. 126, History of Union and Middlesex Counties, New Jersey with Biographical Sketches of many of their Prominent Men (Philadelphia: Everts & Peck, 1882)

Also of interest are the final details mentioned of the Jaques’s family coat of arms, which was then apparently likely in the possession of the descendants of Dr. Moses Jaques (1770-1858), a nephew of Samuel Barron Jaques: The Jaques family is of French descent, the name originally spelled Jacques; of Huguenot origin, fled to England during the fifteenth century. The arms in shield is a fer-de-neorelin (a mill iron), with five stars. Crest: A horse’s head and neck stuck with a tilting spear. Motto: Detur forti palma (the reward given to the brave).

So, to close, below are my updated family tree for these three generations of the Samuel Barron Jaques family and a photo copy of the clipping.

As always, comments, corrections, and additions are most welcome!

1-Samuel Barron Jaques b. 1730, Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., NJ, d. 26 Jul 
  1798/9, Gravel Hill, near Rahway, called Milton, NJ, bur. Locust Grove 
  Cemetery, Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., NJ
 +Mary Coddington, bur. Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ
|-----2-Hannah Jaques b. 17 Aug 1782, d. 17 Aug 1783
|-----2-John Jaques b. 15 Oct 1783, d. Bef Sep 1798
|-----2-David Jaques b. 9 Oct 1784
|-----2-Ziporah Jaques b. 31 Mar 1787
|-----2-Nansey Jaques b. 25 Apr 1789
|-----2-Isaac Jaques b. 9 Aug 1791, Woodbridge Neck, NJ, d. 24 Aug 1880, 
|       Elizabethtown, NJ, bur. 27 Aug 1880, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ
|      +Wealthy Ann Cushman b. 11 Nov 1793, Hartford, CT, d. 11 Apr 1856, 
|       Elizabeth, Union Co, NJ, bur. 13 Apr 1856, Evergreen Cemetery, 
|       Hillside, NJ
|     |-----3-Jane F. Jaques b. 9 Jan 1814, New York, d. 1 Aug 1843, Brooklyn, 
|     |       Kings Co., New York, bur. 3 Aug 1843
|     |-----3-Wealthy Ann Jaques b. 15 Dec 1815, New York City, New York. NY, 
|     |       d. 7 Mar 1892, At Home, 25 Reid Street, Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ, 
|     |       bur. First Presbyterian Church yard of Elizabeth, NJ
|     |-----3-Isaac Jaques b. 15 Nov 1817, d. Prob bef 24 Aug 1880
|     |-----3-Eleazer Jaques b. 7 Mar 1820
|     |-----3-John Barron Jaques b. 12 Sep 1822, New York or New Jersey, USA, 
|     |       d. 19 Dec 1895, St. Michael's Hospital, Newark, Essex Co., NJ, 
|     |       bur. Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, Union, NJ
|     |-----3-Samuel Barron Jaques b. 12 Oct 1824, d. poss 27 May 1858
|     |-----3-Walter Madison Smith Jaques b. 28 Jul 1826, New York City, New 
|     |       York USA, d. Bef 22 Oct 1863
|     |-----3-Christopher Prince Jaques b. 6 Jan 1831, New York City, New York 
|     |       USA, d. Bef 24 Aug 1880
|     |-----3-Dr. Charles Berry Jaques b. 14 Feb 1834, New York City, New York 
|     |       USA, d. 2 Nov 1866, Brooklyn, Kings Co., NY, bur. 5 Nov 1866, Old 
|     |       Somerville Cemetery, Somerville, Somerset Co., NJ, USA
|      +Rebecca A. Robinson b. 1804, CT, d. 29 Dec 1886, bur. Evergreen 
|       Cemetery, Hillside, Union Co., NJ
|-----2-Mary Jaques b. 23 Sep 1793
|-----2-Jane F. Jaques b. 26 Jan 1796, d. 27 Aug 1880, bur. St. Paul's Church 
|       Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, Westchester Co., NY
|      +John B. Quinn d. 20 May 1860, bur. St. Paul's Church Cemetery, Mt. 
|       Vernon, Westchester Co., NY
|-----2-John Morris Jaques b. 21 Sep 1798
Newark News clipping, supposedly from 13 March 1915

Newark News clipping, supposedly from 13 March 1915

Categories: Angus, Barron, Coddington, Cushman, Elizabeth, Family Bible, Jaques, Knowles, Locust Grove Middx Co, New Jersey, Woodbridge | Leave a comment

Early 1900’s camping and hiking for women: the “dos & donts”

Dingman's Falls, Indian Ladder, 1907

Zillah Trewin, seated on the right (age 24), Dingman’s Falls, Indian Ladder, 1907

Grandma Zillah Trewin (b. 1883), seen in the photo above, was a city girl through and through, but like many city dwellers, both then and now, she loved to escape to the great outdoors, especially in the summer. In 1907, she took numerous photos with her little Brownie camera of her adventures in eastern Pennsylvania, in the verdant, waterfall-festooned landscape in and around Dingman’s Falls. Once married, the Great Smoky Mountains and New Hampshire‘s peaks became her summer playgrounds.

Photograph of Girl Scout Camp on Hungry Jack Lake Description. Record creator Department of Agriculture. Forest Service. Region 9 (Eastern Region). Current location National Archives and Records Administration (Wikimedia: public domain)

Photograph of Girl Scout Camp on Hungry Jack Lake. Current location National Archives and Records Administration (Wikimedia: public domain)

Did she ever “rough it”? I highly doubt it. I’m sure she never set foot in a pup tent, let alone slept out under the stars.

The late 1800s and early 1900s, however, saw lots of women wanting to get in on the action of what was, up until then, much more of a man’s activity—hiking out into the woods far away from civilization to truly get away from it all in a primitive camp setting. But one thing top of mind for women, something that was enough to hold them back from such rustic outdoor adventures, was “what to wear?”. Long skirts were highly impractical; short skirts verboten. So what was a girl to do? The answer was “knickers” (not the British variant, obviously)—loose-fitting short pants gathered just below the knee.

Camp Fire Girls of America at Sebago Lake in 1916; Source Library of Congress; Author: Bain (Wikimedia: public domain)

Camp Fire Girls of America at Sebago Lake in 1916; Source Library of Congress; Author: Bain (Wikimedia: public domain)

A visit to a couple of blogs that focus on all things vintage will give you a glimpse of what women were wearing for camping out and going hiking during the first part of the 20th century as they explored our nation’s scenic parks and other natural areas.

A woman’s first-hand account of her experiences making the switch from home-dweller to outdoor explorer can be found below, as can a lengthy article exploring the essentials a woman must consider when getting together a wardrobe suitable for camping. Both are worth a read if you have time.

For your convenience, I am including the relevant pages here. So I hope you will enjoy, and maybe even get a bit of a kick out of “A Woman’s Camping Outfit” by Sara Stokes Baxter (Outing magazine, Volume LIV, The Outing Publishing Company, 1909, pp. 634-638) and “A Woman on the Trail” by Rena N. Phillips (Outing magazine, Volume XLIV, The Outing Publishing Company, 1904, pp. 585-589)—both digitized by Google Books for Archives dot org. (Thank you, Google Books!)

CLICK TO ENLARGE AND VIEW AS A SLIDESHOW

Dingman's Falls, 1907

Dingman’s Falls, 1907

Categories: Hiking, Nature, Trewin | 5 Comments

Powered by WordPress.com.

TJR MinT

Not Just Food

Dream To Cook

Taste heavenly good

Bruno Biancardi

LANDSCAPE OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY

Ailish Sinclair

Stories and photos from Scotland

Briar Rose Blog

a lifestyle blog by Briar Rose

The Walking Sketchbook

Creating Outdoors in Nature

Paddy Tobin, An Irish Gardener

Our garden, gardens visited, occasional thoughts and book reviews

Dr. Mary Ann Niemczura

Author of "A Past Worth Telling"

Very Nearly Tea Time

Celebrating the best about the ritual of tea

Gerry's Family History

Sharing stories from my family history

The History Interpreter - Janet Few

Presenting and Preserving the Past

What Florida Native Plant Is Blooming Today?™

Daily Photo of Plants Native to Florida

Jet Eliot

Travel and Wildlife Adventures

The Chiddicks Family Tree

Every Family has a story to tell..........Welcome to mine

kelleysdiy

Where Creativity and Imagination Creates Wonderful Ideas for Your Home!

Chaotic Shapes

Art and Lifestyle by Brandon Knoll

thedihedral.wordpress.com/

Climbing, Outdoors, Life!

Dusty Roots & Forgotten Treasures

Researching, Preserving, and Sharing Genealogical Information For Future Generations

WitzEnd Family History

Adventures in Genealogy of the Witzel and Kroening Families

American in Korea

Everything International

The Genealogist's Craft

My aim is to tell interesting stories of how genealogical information comes to be. Please pull up an armchair ...

omordah.wordpress.com/

Art by Susan M. L. Moore

Lee's Birdwatching Adventures Plus

Birdwatching from a Christian Perspective

Story_Trails

Family history in stories recalled by Edie and Leo. Edith GAYLORD Allen, Leo ALLEN, Jr

Princes, Paupers, Pilgrims & Pioneers

“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings.” Teaching children values and giving them the opportunity to excel is essential to good parenting. However, I feel I must also provide my children (and myself) insight into the ones who came before us: our ancestors whose lives and stories have shaped us into who we are. This is my journey; these are their stories…

Myricopia

Exploring the Past to Improve the Future

Buddha Walks Into A Wine Bar ....

Sits down with The Two Doctors and .....

MarileeWein.com

DOUBLE GENEALOGY: the ADOPTION WITNESS

Applegate Genealogy

Helping others discover their roots

allenrizzi

Sempre in Movimento! Published Every Monday and Friday at 12 PM EST

Cooking Without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Smart Veg Recipes

Welcome to home made, vegeterian, healthy & kids friendly recipes

ICI & LA NATURE PICTURES

Walk and Bike in France and Europe www.walk-bike-camino.com

The Lives of my Ancestors

Lives, Biographies and Sketches of my Family History

Down the Rabbit Hole with Sir LeprechaunRabbit

Serious about Genealogy? Let this Olde Grey hare show you about

Diggin' Up Graves

Genealogy and family history, dirt and all.

Fiction Gets Real: Classic Literary Characters Transported To The Modern World

https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Eyre-Gets-Real-Annabelle-ebook/dp/B00FAS3I7O

Momoe's Cupboard

Low Budget Meals and Ideas

Generations of Nomads

On the Trail of Family Faces, Places, and Stories Around the World

Your daily Civil War newspaper [est. 1995]

All the Civil War news fit to re-print

Author Adrienne Morris

The Writing Life at Middlemay Farm

Travels with Janet

Just another WordPress.com weblog

%d bloggers like this: